NLD lawyer Daw Ywat Nu Aung.
A prominent lawyer from the ousted National League for Democracy (NLD) Party went missing on Wednesday in Mandalay. It is feared that Daw Ywat Nu Aung has either been arrested by the military regime or kidnapped by a pro-junta group responsible for the recent murders of NLD supporters in Mandalay.
She is part of the legal team acting for ousted Mandalay Chief Minister and NLD vice chairman Dr. Zaw Myint Maung, who is currently on trial in Mandalay’s Obo Prison for alleged corruption.
One of Daw Ywat Nu Aung’s colleagues said she last saw the lawyer on Wednesday, just before she left Dr. Zaw Myint Maung’s trial at the prison.
“I met her just before she left [the prison]. If she was arrested, it could be around 3:30 or 4pm,” said the colleague.
As of Thursday afternoon, the lawyer’s fate is still unknown.
Many suspect that Daw Ywat Nu Aung may have been arrested by the regime because she is defending a high-profile NLD figure.
However, her disappearance comes at a time when Mandalay has been rocked by the extrajudicial killings of NLD members by the Thwe Thout Group, a pro-regime militia. The group has vowed to respond to an anti-junta force’s pledge to attack regime supporters, security forces and their family members.
Since last week, Thwe Thout Group has claimed responsibility for the murders of at least two NLD supporters.
As well as representing Dr. Zaw Mying Maung, Daw Ywat Nu Aung is also representing other prominent NLD figures detained by the junta, including NLD chair U Win Htein. She is also the NLD’s senior official for Mandalay Region.
The lawyer came to prominence for her work on a high-profile child rape case held in the Myanmar capital Naypyitaw in 2019.
The Irrawaddy was unable to contact the regime’s spokesperson for comment.
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